Skip to main content
12:00 am
tavis: good evening. from los angeles, i am tavis smiley. tonight a conversation with musician and activist peter yarrow, one third of peter, paul & mary. then we will turn to a conversation with grammy winner india.arie about the first cd she has released in years called "songversation." both of them will perform tonight. we are glad you joined us for a conversation with peter yarrow and india.arie, coming up right now.
12:01 am
>> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. has alwaysr yarrow believed music can change lives for the better. musicians made sure they were there when it came time to stand up for justice. they were there 50 years ago this summer for a march on washington, and just last month he put together a
12:02 am
concert for sandy hook elementary school families. he has a new book based on one of the trio's most beloved songs, india.arie --"i'm in love with a big blue frog." let's take a look at peter, paul & mary singing "i'm in love with a big blue frog" from their 20th anniversary concert. >> ♪ i'm in love with the big lou frog, a big blue frog loves me ♪ worknow we can make things ♪ ♪ here. paul was
12:03 am
noel was here not too long ago. great time as always. you guys are forever busy. the work doesn't stop. >> the commitment is something we inherited from the people in the folk field. say, if you sing to me, you have to lift me. the turning point came when we did participate in the march on and i remember when people knew this song. it had been a big hit.
12:04 am
ossie davis introduced us. for a musical group we were not there to entertain. we were there to express music and join other people. that moment belonged to them. ♪ if i had a hammer, i'd hammer in the morning ♪ ♪ i'd hammer in the evening, all over this land ♪ danger, i'd out hammer out a warning, i'd hammer out love between the birds and bees all over this land ♪ well i got a hammer, and i got
12:05 am
a bell, and i got a song to sing all over this land ♪ ♪ it's to hammer out justice ♪ ♪ it's the bell of freedom, it's the song about love between the brothers and sisters all over this land ♪ land ♪ tavis: you still got it, peter. you still got it. >> pete seeger is 93. >> i had him on my radio show a few months ago. we talked about you and this song. songs get handed down, and they get changed by each generation. i was there just three days ago.
12:06 am
it's called the faith and politics pilgrimage. of theace the steps selma montgomery march. playing with 250 people. 30 members of congress are there , and there wasis a point where they needed to express their solidarity, and that is where i sang "if i had a hammer." those little girls who were first integrated are now doing extraordinary work. is the songt thing "i'm in love with a big blue
12:07 am
frog" is about civil rights. time,g blue frog at that show the pictures. why we can talk about need to have of voters rights and who the big blue frog's thetoday besides reappearance of racism in society, which exist. ♪ ♪ i'm in love with the big blue frog ♪ ♪ a big blue frog loves me he appears,s fat as he's got glasses and 6'3" ♪ ♪ i'm not worried about our kids ♪ out neat,hey'll turn
12:08 am
they'll be good looking because they'll have my face, rates winters because they'll have his feet ♪ ♪ -- great swimmers because they'll have his feet ♪ ♪ i'm in love with the big blue frog ♪ ♪ he's got rhythm and a phd ♪ it's clear to me, it's probably clear to you ♪ theey say the values on property will go right down, the family next door is blue ♪ tavis: why a project aimed specifically at children? i mentioned you went to sandy hook. why a project aimed at children specifically for these issues? >> we have to interrupt the cycle of pushing the other way,
12:09 am
you're no good, you're stupid, you're gay. this is called the pyramid of hate. it builds from that kind of toection amongst kids hatred. it is the pyramid of hate. we have to interrupt that cycle and let kids grew up in an environment in which they feel thereabout, save, where is no bullying, no name-calling, no humiliation, because if we don't the culture becomes one that injures them, and some of the kids feel so bad about themselves they will get depressed and hurt themselves, and others will turn around and try to hurt others. we need to have a society that cares about others, not just the kids problems. tavis: over the next five years,
12:10 am
going tonow, we are celebrate, commemorate a number of seminal moment in american history. you were around for. not just around four, but you were there. you were integral to it, so you weren't there 150 years ago at the emancipation rock imation signing, but that was 150 years proclamationpation signing, but that was 150 years ago. then 50 years since the civil rights act. the next five years are going to be full of these anniversaries. >> than the anniversary on selma . >> i am only raising that to arc people the view of the
12:11 am
of what happened 150 years ago that we are going to be commemorating over the last five years. how do you read the arc of american progress over the last five decades? >> we saying, and i will give you just this one line. the answer my friend is blowing in the wind ♪ ♪ the answer is blowing in the wind ♪ ♪ how many years can some people exist ♪ ♪ before they're allowed to be free ♪ the marcheing that at on washington. put it in context.
12:12 am
can mobilize ourselves to celebrate what we have done but also come to terms with the fact that we have a long road to travel, we will fulfill our promise. people do understand one of the shining moments in american history was navigating our way through the civil rights era. barack obama is part of a 500 year journey. he didn't just fall out of the heavens. he traveled around the world, and people see him as a shining example of what america has done and what they are capable of, so we shall overcome is son all ungr the world. -- is s all over the world. >> blowing in the wind, if i had a hammer, these were son when the walls came down in the soviet union.
12:13 am
we were invited to sing at the first anniversary of the bloodless revolution in the philippines, because nuns were putting flowers in the muscles muzzles of tanks, -- guns and tanks. in order to mobilize, we need to do it from the heart, not just the intellect, and the sad thing , if you of this sort just here -- free, we shallbe all be free ♪ someday ♪ all be free heart ♪n my
12:14 am
that we shall overcome some day ♪ eloquence of the music transcends anything i could say. is about loving each other. it's about loving each other, and we stand on the shoulders of gay and lesbian rights, on the shoulders of the civil rights movement. that was the defining time in our country when we figured out if we stand together we can change history. is lovepeter yarrow
12:15 am
personified. i walk a little taller and also with a little more humility when you grace us with your presence in the studio. the children's book is called "i'm in love with a big blue frog." it includes a cd of recordings by peter, paul & mary. they with us. -- stay with us. with her eclectic mix of musical styles, india.arie has always defied easy classification. after a four-year gap she has just released her cd called "songversation." i love that title. let's hear her singing a cut from the cd called "cocoa butter here co. >> ♪ your love is like cocoa butter ♪ butterkisses like cocoa ♪
12:16 am
butter ♪ike cocoa my heart was bruised, that's what happens when you use it ♪ been that way for so long the site he came familiar ♪ that, whenl missed the brother started walking at the end see said, hey. i saw you at the beginning of the video. we were talking about whether or years toemed like four you. for my fans it felt like four years. did it feel like four years to you? >> yes. i need to get itself together.
12:17 am
to allow my health to get together. up withime to catch myself. thedn't feel right about way things were. >> to your point about not feeling right about the weight rings were, how does an artist ?void this kind of burnout >> i don't know. my hope is that i figured it out. i make decisions based on what i want to do. artists need people to help them get there. you need your security. you need your people.
12:18 am
the instruments by yourself. you can't be your own manager, so you need your people. everyone is always having an opinion. that's what we do. it'shen you are the person focused on, you get lost with your self. i make my own decisions. i hear people's opinions, and in the end they know the decision is mine. i don't have to go back and forth. womanhoodgrew into with these voices, and i started to see my life was off path because i was listening to other people. every decision you make puts you in this moment right now. i felt 10 years from now, where am i going to be? is it going to be my choice? i don't know. i hope i got it right.
12:19 am
things feel good. i've been doing a lot of work, and i don't still tired or burned out, so it is working so hard. tavis: i love the title. how did that come to be? >> technically, i thought about it for a long time. it was months and months. find a moniker for my performance style, because i always have a lot to say. want to share. i want a fellowship with people, so early in my career i felt i have to get it out fast. i felt like if you build it they will come, i felt like if i did that they could decide whether they wanted to hear me speak and sing. i thought about it for a long time. this for years for me was about figuring out how to do this in a way that i love and that feels good to me. i love singing, but everything
12:20 am
was so much of a challenge. i was exhausted all the time. be moreng for ways to me i went into songversations, and then i decided to name my album "songversation." i was singing about it for months. i was traveling these countries and i felt the music coming out of my stomach. feel it makes perfect sense. i had another album i was working on for three years called "open door." i decided to name this one "songversation" because it encompasses my hold journey. with the music itself i went to turkey and got these middle eastern strings and percussion. all that stuff you hear is real. real strings, real people. tavis: i love it.
12:21 am
it's been bull, i could live there. , i could-- istanbul live there. >> i met turkey's biggest star. this beautiful coincidence. becausehe was a diva she had this crazy ring on, and i love jewelry. she was saying how inspirational it is for an artist. , never thought about istanbul water, food, culture. i said, are you a musician? she said, yes. it means nothing to me. i just knew this lady was amazing. i said, i am a singer songwriter , too. she said, do you love gladys knight? it turns out she has a voice like gladys knight. i said my idol is stevie wonder.
12:22 am
,he said, he has a new song out and she starts singing a song i ande with stevie wonder, she started crying, and i started crying. she called her son and said, you have to come to tristan bull. .- istanbul she brought her box set. it turned out she was turkey's biggest artist. i listen to it, and her voice was like god just -- i wanted to make music that encompassed things i love about the world. traveler. i am a musician. i am an artist. in the music industry you are black or white, but she opened up this whole world to me. i called her and asked her if and she saidp,
12:23 am
anything, i am in. days she was in and out of the studio. we were eating food, learning to play turkish flute. i see she didn't give you that ring. >> she gave me another ring. taking these flute lessons, and there was this guy who was her fan and would say, i am going to teach you how to play. she would take it and say, i am her mom. she would wash it off and give it to me. i just love her. tavis: grab your stick. the new project from india.arie after four years. i can't believe she made us wait this long. it's more than worth the wait. great cover, great project. here
12:24 am
it is. to say my closing goodbye, and i am going to let india play us out. play?re you going to >> break the shell inspired by sissy tyson. i am goingbountiful, to see it. he is going to play us out. good night from los angeles. as always, keep the faith. >> ♪ i met a profit, dark as the night ♪ ♪ she could see into my soul ♪ that she'd been watching and had some advice ♪ she said shadows make you whole ♪ is a wolfithout a in
12:25 am
paineep clothes -- without ♪ is a wolf in sheep clothes ♪ if you listen to the lesson that is told, ♪ you will find gold ♪ ♪ child it's time to break the shell ♪ ♪ life's going to be felt ♪ ♪ you cannot touch the sky from inside yourself ♪ ♪ you cannot fly until you break ♪ the shell [applause] >> for more information on today's show, visit tavis smiley at tavis: hi, i'm tavis smiley. join me next time for a conversation with saxophonist dave koz and legendary bassist charlie haden.
12:26 am
at next time. see you then. ♪ >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. thank you. uncer:more.
12:27 am
12:28 am
12:29 am
12:30 am
(♪ theme music ) (♪) matt elmore: welcome to imagemakers a weekly showcase featuring the best short films from around the world. stay tuned and enjoy the filmmakers of tomorrow today on imagemakers. imagemakers is made possible in part by a grant from: celebrating the vitality and power of the moving image. and by the: (background talking) jack: so you're going to be like this all night? lauren: like what? lauren, look? just stop! i don't...i don't want to talk about this here.

Tavis Smiley
PBS December 4, 2013 12:00am-12:31am PST

News/Business. Peter Yarrow, India.Arie. (2013) Musician Peter Yarrow; singer India.Arie. New. (CC) (Stereo)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Us 7, India 6, Paul & Mary 3, Istanbul 3, Turkey 3, Peter Yarrow 2, Gladys Knight 2, Washington 2, Tavis Smiley 2, Los Angeles 2, Selma 2, Matt Elmore 1, Stevie 1, Dave Koz 1, Sandy 1, Lovepeter Yarrow 1, Moreng 1, Alwaysr Yarrow 1, Ossie Davis 1, Pete Seeger 1
Network PBS
Duration 00:31:00
Rating TV-MA
Scanned in San Francisco, CA, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Channel v10
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 704
Pixel height 480
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color

disc Borrow a DVD of this show
info Stream Only
Uploaded by
TV Archive
on 12/4/2013